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Lisabob

seeking input on OA High Adventure

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My son is pondering applying either for the OA Northern Tier Wilderness Voyage, or for the OA Ocean Adventure at Sea Base for next summer. He asked me to see what I could find out for him about either of these, so he can decide which on he wants to do. We don't know anybody local who has done either one.

 

According to the info on the OA High Adventure website and applications, both sound really fun - and like a lot of very demanding physical work. Northern Tier is a 2 week program where the first week is trail building/maintenance and the second week is a canoe trek. Ocean Adventure is 10 days, again half trail maintenance and half sailing. Minimum age for both is 16.

 

 

Questions:

1. Can a typical 16 or 17 year old handle the physical demands/challenges of the work part of these trips? The warnings about this on the application seem sort of daunting (esp. the Northern Tier one)- but it can't be *that* bad, or they wouldn't allow kids to sign up (right?). What could he expect, realistically? He's normal height/weight, not scrawny but not a football player, either. No past experience with lengthy High Adventure trips to judge from.

 

2. How do boys prepare for these, considering there are no practice treks or shake downs in advance?

 

3. Ocean Adv. application says they give first preference to youth who have already done either Northern Tier or Philmont. Is it probable that a boy who has done neither of these would get in to Ocean Adv, despite this? Any past experience on that?

 

4. They say they don't even start notifying you of whether you got in until March. Knowing how the BSA is with deadlines - do they actually tell you in March, or is it more like May/June?

 

5. If you don't get in, is it too late at that point to apply for the other programs (say, apply to Ocean Adv. first, but apply to NT if not accepted to Ocean Adv)? Or do the programs all fill right away?

 

Thanks for the feedback!

 

 

 

 

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I heard that they canceled Ocean Adventure for the moment. I had a friend who did N Tier and had a blast.

 

As for Philmont, I know a few of the guys who talked national into having OATC. It is awesome from what they and others have told me.

 

 

Prep is all on the individual. don;'t know any other particulars.

 

 

Also OA is doing something for the Summit next year. You may want to check that out.

 

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One other option for your son, although he needs to be 18 to do it: European Camp Staff Program. Basically you work at a camp in the country of your choice for a minimum of 6 weeks. Free food, free shelter, and 1/2 your travel expenses up to $400 reimbursed once you come home. Initial cost is approx $150 with the application, and if you are accepted that pays for your insurance. OA at one time did have a scholarship to pay the $150 app fee.

 

Thaks for the FYI on Ocean Adventure.

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I appreciate the heads up on European Camp Staff. Right now we're just looking at the two OA high adv. options that he's interested in for next summer - Northern Tier and Sea Base.

 

Anybody have experience with the OA programs at these two places?

 

 

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Hi Lisabob!

 

First of all, a little disclaimer, I haven't been to these programs. That being said, I have been a section officer for the past 4 years and know the OAHA program fairly well.

 

1) Yes. Will it be hard work, probably. However, your son will not be forced to do work that he can not handle. He'll definitely be tired at the end of the day, but will not be worked to death. He is, after all, paying to be there... OAWV will, most likely, be more demanding than OAOA. He'll have to portage his canoe and will be doing plenty of paddling during his two weeks there. Not to say that OAOA is a cake-walk...

 

2) This one, again, depends on which trek he goes on. Both will require his swimming skills to be strong, since both are water based. As long as he's in good shape, I wouldn't worry about OAOA too much. Strong canoeing skills would be helpful for OAWV. He should definitely get some in before going. It's primarily up to him, since I don't know his level of physical activity...

 

3) Sorry...can't help you here... This will obviously vary year to year, depending on the applicants. It's not an automatic "NO" if he hadn't gone to the others.

 

4) From others that I know who have gone, the notification is generally on time. Definitely not as late as May!

 

5) Unfortunately, it will probably be too late. The programs usually fill up pretty quickly.

 

Sorry to not be super specific, but I hope that this at least points you in the right direction.

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